Monochrome — updated July 13th, 2017 with a better viewing method

 

Monochrome — updated July 13th, 2017 with a better viewing method

Many many years ago when I was just a kid working in my dad’s darkroom, black and white photography was what we did.  People shot in black and white, processed black and white and created images that were story telling, dramatic, honing in on what was the primary subject and not the colors.  Black and White totally eliminated color and isolated what is important in an image, the subject.

I am not against good color images and to be honest, if done right can provide us with the beauty of the world overall.  Color is most certainly a part of photographic lives and story telling so I am not discounting what great color represents to the photographer and the images a photographer gives to us.

There is a long-awaited and most certainly deserved rebirth  of the monochrome image, which is not solely black and white.  People are beginning to appreciate how a monochrome image draw them into the image, right to the heart of the story, the subject.

Overtime and even more so today I have processed digital images that were created in raw color by the cameras software, into monochrome images with a variety of software products.  With wonderful software in the market today I have come to process images both in color and black and white in Picktorial 3.0 raw processor which provides me with universal and local adjustments for all my tools.  Then in the final process should I want a more artistic approach I either export a copy of my image to Nik Silverefex Pro 2.0 (soon to be discontinued completely) or Alien Skin X2 Layer software  and/or On1 Photo Raw

However, as I am a Mac user, I do use Picktorial for over all adjustments and then Alien Skin x2 to finish if necessary.  I should note that Alien Skin is also a raw processor for both Windows and Mac as is On1.

I have also set up my Fuji X cameras, all three of them to shoot black and white Jpegs and color raw files at the same time.  So what I see in the viewfinder and LCD screen is a black and white (monochrome) image.

Definitions

Adjective:  1) having only one color, 2) representing colors with shades of gray (photography).

Origin: From Ancient Greek μονόχρωμος ‎(monókhrōmos), from μόνος ‎(mónos, one) + χρῶμα ‎(khrôma, color); mono- +‎ -chrome.

First known use: Early decades of the 19th century.

Modern use: ELLIOTPAULSTERN.ME

Digital photography, monochrome is the capture of only shades of black by the sensor, or by post-processing a color image to present only the perceived brightness by combining the values of multiple channels (usually red, blue, and green). The weighting of individual channels may be selected to achieve a desired artistic effect; if only the red channel is selected by the weighting then the effect will be similar to that of using a red filter on panchromatic film. If the red channel is eliminated and the green and blue combined then the effect will be similar to that of orthochromatic film or the use of a cyan filter on panchromatic film. The selection of weighting thus allows a wide range of artistic expression in the final monochromatic image.

 

Picktorial – Add a Custom Watermark

Add a Custom Watermark

 

Picktorial is just about the cleanest and easiest image processor (raw or any other format) that one can use with the Macintosh computers.  I have been using this program for quite some time now and the features and excellent image representations of your personal look are incredible.

A feature that is not usually talked about too much is the ability to add a very personalized watermark to an image.

Most people think that a watermark is solely for preventing others from copying or taking credit for your hard work and while that might be true in the world of Facebook and Google, we lose sight of the fact that a watermark is also an identifier that says this is the very fine work of a very fine photographer artist.

A watermark that is designed for that purpose can easily and creatively be made by listening to the attached tutorials.

Why don’t you give it a try.

First is a tutorial on how to create the watermark

Second is a tutorial on how to put the logo into Picktorial 3.0

TAKING PICKTORIAL RAW PROCESS PROGRAM FURTHER WITH EXTERNAL EDITORS

Picktorial, as so many of you now know is my favorite raw processor especially for my Fuji X raw files on my Macintosh computers.

Picktorial as a stand alone program has incredible power but like other programs also has the ability to use great plug in apps like those from Google Nik.

Watch this video to see just how easy it is to use in programs of your choice such as Lightroom, Photoshop, On1, and so many others.  By simply accessing the software you can make changes, save changes which automatically go right back into Picktorial as a separate and new version of your file.

 

Picktorial – Software – Photography – Imaging – and the final steps towards a picture you imagined …

IMAGING SOFTWARE – THE FINAL FRONTIER-it has to be fast, simple, easy to use, easy to learn and produce the processing effect that in your heart and mind

I am on in years and I have  used software products from the early stone age of digital image processing that you never heard of.  That’s okay because most are long gone. The base operations and the concepts to make an image lighter, darker, have more contrast or less, saturate all the color or not, convert to gray-scale, perhaps do a bit of a crop have not really changed all that much although perhaps a bit more precise.

Software for turning our photographs into we imagined, remembered what we saw when we pressed the shutter button has evolved thanks to companies like Adobe, Corel, Phase One and others.  Along with the software has come more powerful computers to process our ever-growing file sizes and because of advances from new software companies  these powerful computers can process the math that software provides for incredible image manipulation.

I have to admit that for the longest time I remained a simple meat and potatoes kind of person and really preferred just the base adjustments necessary to get the image out of my computer and into the media world.  I never really gave a great deal of thought to burning and dodging like I did in my darkroom and film days, I was not interested in brushes, masks, gradients and the like for enhancing my images to points beyond what my camera had captured. Well at least not too interested.  I did get more involved as time went by.  I think I stayed away from the heavy lifting that my friends were doing and still had my images convey the message I wanted people to get.

Adobe has had the lion’s share of this software market for quite sometime because of Photoshop and then Lightroom and they really introduced photographers to whole new way of working with images and kudos to Adobe for doing that.  But like all giants there comes a time when they themselves don’t really do much to make software better in big ways.  They seem content to work with the same engines they developed a long time ago instead of re-coding to make the software perform with the newest and greatest digital files.  But that is okay because others have come along to show them the way.  Will they heed the requests of their customers.  Probably not.

So in the past couple of years there have been some pretty great young companies that have arisen to challenge the king and they have been able to do things that the king did not even dream about.  That is what happens when you get set in your ways.

One of those companies named Picktorial has managed to produce a product, although right now only for the Mac computer users that has changed the way I look at image enhancement and that is because they look at image enhancement unlike any other software company I have dealt with and I have dealt with way too many in my search to perfection.  No one would believe that I would ever be using “Local Adjustment” – “Retouching Tools” to adjust individual parts of my image for Tone, Sharpness, Color Saturation, Denoising, Spot Removal, Object removal, Defocusing, Smoothing for skin retouching, Individual colors enhancement and the list goes on and with all of this you can still go back to basic settings for the overall image and just work that way.

So the adage “you can teach an old dog new tricks” and you can lead a horse to water but not make it drink” most certainly do not apply in this case and the reason for this is because the bright lights at Picktorial have made it way too easy to learn “new tricks” and “drink the water” because they are providing the smoothest, slickest most precise for overall and local adjustments I have ever seen in a piece of software.

 For this image I did a 90 percent crop, sharpening brush, tone brush, color brush, contrast brush, and tone brush again that completely blacked out an entire green background.  The edge recognition of the brushes and gradients and eraser in nothing short of incredible.
 This image was simple.  I had shot it as a high key and processed it in Picktorial using overall adjustments, and then added a texture and frame. I colorized the texture to match the flower and the frame was a vignette type frame.
 In this image I did overall adjustments for tone (exposure-contrast-clarity) cropped a tiny bit and then painted out the bricks and background areas by using a brush, selecting zero color saturation for the brush to get a black and white effect.
 I can only say that if an old photographer dinosaur like me can pick up on these tools so quickly then anyone, all thumbs anyone, no knowledge anyone can do so as well.
Because of the simplicity of the interface, the smoothness of all of the controls and the people behind this product are so incredible a whole world of possibilities has opened up for me and will for anyone who tries, buys Pictorial.  It is simple, easy, fast, and very very modern and now.
And if I did not mention it above, there are also tons of built-in presets and you can even add your own.  And you can also add your own frames and textures as well and there are tons of free ones on the world-wide web.
Note:  All Image shot with Fuji X pro 2
Addendum: 1

I do not have a financial or personal relationship with Pictorial or the founders of Pictorial.  I have paid for my software, I use the software and love the software.  I am not obligated in any way, shape or form to the company and they are not obligated to me.  If I found that the their product was not one that performs then I would not be writing about it or posting other bloggers opinions.

Addendum 2  L e a r n     M o r e  w i t h   t h e s e    v i d e o s

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSIFoDHRG9K5AcbT32Vv_TQ